Thursday, 29 September 2011

Many Day Catch Up

Apologies for lack of bloggage - I have clearly been very lazy recently...

Here are some things that my camera remembers me doing in the last week or so (on a personal level, my brain is mush, and I no longer recall what I was doing 25 minutes, let alone three days ago).

I went to work both days at the weekend, but celebrated finishing up early on Sunday by roasting an enormous hunk o'lamb that had been previously clogging up my freezer.

We drank husband's celebratory 2004 Cristal, not exactly with the lamb, but kind of around the edges of it.

I made the leftovers (which were many and voluminous) into a huge shepherds' pie the next day, which was tragically unphotographed.
There's still a chunk of it in the freezer (the circle of foodlife), so I guess there may be a second chance.

At the same time, I made Dan Lepard's beautiful sour cream chocolate cake, which I did photograph...

I'm still trying to foist the rest of it onto willing victims - please shout if you're prepared to help!

Yesterday, I had lovely lovely dinner and many ridiculous cocktails with the marvellous @EffBeeee (who is unquestionably, as far as I'm concerned, one of the best things to have come out of Twitter - you must all follow her instantly), which were in a fartoodark place for visible photographs, but were totally amazing. One was actually ALIVE and smokin' :-)

Today, I got GOODIES from the nice people at Hubbub - my third order, in fact.
I shall write a real proper post about them soonly, but, until then, if you like Tasty Things and live in East or North London, you must visit them post haste!

We cooked the sardines straight away, with spinach, French beans, garlic and fish sauce. YUM.

Monday, 26 September 2011


- By which I mean Saturday, not Sunday which is, I suppose, technically yesterday - I went to work and husband missed his trains back from work jaunt in Avignon (sur le pont and all that)...

When we both finally made it home, we were tired and hungry, so we ate this

Roasted squash, stirfried pak choi with craploads of fish sauce and wee fried partridge breasts.

Was good.

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Friday, 23 September 2011

Sprats 'n' Spinach

Not much else to say really...

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I Don't Usually Do This

I don't usually put breakfast on here as it's generally even duller than dinner...
It looked so pretty today, though, that I thought I'd share :-)

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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Eggsactly the Same?

Stirfried back-of-the-fridge-things with fish sauce and eggs...

I may be becoming a trifle monotonous.

Not an actual trifle, of course. That wouldn't be monotonous at all. It would boozy, custardy and delicious.

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All Alone

Husband is away for a few days, so I have hit a big Lazy Cooking Wall.
As such, last night, after manfully showering and washing up (not together, though I do like the idea of the water/effort economy) I concocted myself a things-that-are-already-in-the-fridge-or-will-take-less-than-ten-minutes-to-cook dinner.

Leftover rainbow carrot salad and garlic, lime, coriander and fish sauce dressing with a couple of soft boiled (and extremely incompetently peeled - not sure what came over me) Cotswold legbar eggs.

Super tasty :-)

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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Not Scotch Eggs

No scotch eggs for me tonight.

Instead, "Thai style" mussels

With rainbow carrot (courtesy of lovely Hubbub) and courgette salad to mop up the juice.

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Monday, 19 September 2011

Not Ratatouille

Not technically, at least...
With beautiful Cotswold Legbar eggs and extra aubergine :-)

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Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Dinner of Red Things

Red cabbage, fried with red onion (and garlic)...

Red meat (bavette)

And the final assembly (with tragically unred potato wedges).

All washed down with red wine - 2005 Malartic Lagraviere :-)

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Friday, 16 September 2011

Famous Grouse

Grouse bits with puy lentils, cavolo nero and roasted squash.

Yum - autumnal.

Washed down with a 2005 Burgundy.

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Thursday, 15 September 2011

There's a Well Known Adage...

... When life gives you muesli, make cookies...

Or something like that, anyway.

We've had a friend staying for a few days. It's been nice.
Her legacy has been the best part of a great big box of muesli, which we are very clearly never going to eat.

So, taking the advice of lovely Lisa Cookwitch, I have just transformed the bulk of it into cookies. Very cunning. Instant fruit, nuts and oatsy scrunch :-)

- 300g muesli
- 120g flour
- a splodge of baking powder
- 100g demerara sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- a big splodge of honey (maybe 4 tablespoons?)
- an egg

- Preheat oven to 180
- Mix up the dry ingredients in a bowl
- Melt the butter and honey together
- Beat the egg
- Add the egg and the butter mix to the bowl and mix well
- Put little spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 mins

Et voila, cookies!

And then I skinned (harder than it looks, but at least I know how now) and grilled this fella.

And ate him (well, half of him, anyway) with garlicky spinach.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Double Cabbage

Today, we are eating cabbage with cabbage...

Inspiration taken from (utterly bastardised, so she can take credit but no blame) lovely Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.

Spiced lentils with cavolo nero

Served with a red cabbage based slaw...
Husband also had salmon, as there was a random fillet left over from yesterday.

I made a pretty cool frangipane and apple tart and some salty caramel ice cream the other day too, but, by the time I remembered to photograph them, it was too late and we'd already eaten it all...

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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Mini Fish

Grilled sprats with foraged samphire (too much chilli) and small mash...

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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Remarkably Similar

... dinner to one I had last week (or the one before).

Roasted spaghetti squash, garlicky chard and chicken livers.

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Holy Trinity

On Sunday, husband and I finally reached the glorious achievement pinnacle of being married for a full 365 days...

To celebrate, we took ourselves off for lunch at Trinity in Clapham.
This was on the back of many effusive Twitter recommendations, so expectations were running high. High enough, no less, for us to drag ourselves all the way to Clapham. Crazy!

Despite rocking up really quite late (small postcode based confusion and general transport incompetence on our part), we were greeted like old friends by the delightful staff and shown to our lovely table in the window, where we were faced with a wee bit of unexplained slate

and this painful, painful choice...

which was helped along by careful application of a nice Amontillado and a tasty little radish/salt/taramasalata combo.

Oh, and bread. With lots of insanely creamy butter (that's where the slate came in). In-house bread, I think - still warm and beautifully flakey.

I then "started" with duck egg and offal on brioche toast - I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from this dish, but it turned out to be a bit like a delicious breakfast!

Husband had venison sausage roll. Which was enormous and came with a cabbagey slaw thing and some damson jam. Again, delicious.

Since the lunch was a bargainlicious £30 a head, we decided to splash out a bit on the wine, so we chose this:

from the so called Chef's Cellar. It was worth every penny - if I ever see it again, I shall be diving straight in.

Husband followed his venison main with this hay baked fallow deer main (which came highly recommended by the waiter). It was a big hunk of deery loveliness, with a side of what was essentially a deer/potato sandwich. He was extremely pleased.

And I ate plaice with buttery buttery shrimp sauce, champ and leeks. It was just a section of plaice, but it was So Fat - he must have been absolutely ginormous when he was still swimming around in the sea. Very good indeed and not at all overpowered by the wine (which is always a concern when ordering by the bottle and eating totally different things).

We were (obviously) pretty full by this stage, but we soldiered on and ordered pudding. We had a small mini fight over who should be allowed the strawberry shortbread, but husband was also quite tempted by the cheesecake, so I won (I'd have won anyway, clearly...)

So, strawberries, shortbread bits and gorgeous fluffy vanilla cream (with bonus ginger biscuits).

And Wigmore cheesecake, with pear sorbet (and shortcake crumbs - this pretty much made it for husband - it properly quelled his shortbread jealousy). Amazing. Cheesy and a bit sheepy, but still light and desserty with that all important buttery biscuit base (I confess that I'm not a massive fan of such things - I know, I know - but husband really is).

Accompanied by this, which I can't exactly remember the name of, but is kind of like a slightly sweet, light, sparkling perry, but French. Was another really good staff recommendation - perfect with the cheesecake.

You can probably tell that we absolutely loved our lunch at Trinity.
The food was all truly delicious (not to mention plentiful) and the service managed to be flawless, but, at the same time, friendly and easy - just lovely.

The £30 Sunday lunch was an absolute bargain. There was a service charge added to the bill, which we were more than happy to pay (was very much worth it) and a £2pp surcharge for limitless water (sparkled on the premises - v good), bread and things.

What else can I say? We will definitely be going back. As often as possible.
Though maybe next time we'll walk to Clapham to work up an appetite :-)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Lamb Breast

Slow(ish) roasted lamb breast with mixed beans, lovely orange beetroot and garlic...

Turns out you get pretty good crackling from lamb belly :-)

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Sunday, 4 September 2011

J and J Hit the F and F Supper Club

Last Thursday, husband and I schlepped along to Broadway Market to have dinner at the Fin and Flounder supper club.

I love Fin and Flounder - I love their beautiful fish and I love that they're open on Sundays for people like me :-)

We were a bit early, so we stopped in for a quick drink at The Dove - purveyor of many lovely Belgian beers (not just the crappy ones you get everywhere - the good stuff too!).

We then hot-footed it across the road to F Cooke (usually the pie and mash shop, established, so it says, in 1862) - famous for it's jellied eels and liquor, and where it's seemingly always about twenty five to six...

I'm definitely planning to come again for eeeeeeeels. Here's hoping I end up like this chap.

We were greeted by tables of lovely E5 Bakehouse bread where we settled ourselves in and cracked open our beautiful BYO wine.

We were shortly presented with these - I love whelks - I frequently horrify my extended family buy buying and slurping them at the beach with vinegar. These were chopped into bits and deliciously garlic buttered and salted. It was husband's First Whelk Time. He was suitably impressed.

A little while later, we were joined by some tablemates and came into receipt of these tasty morsels.
Brioche, aioli and dover sole. Probably the dish of the evening for us. Next time we're in Fin and Flounder, we will definitely be looking out for the dover sole.

After another half an hour or so, there was mackerel. And a bowl of lemon wedges. I love mackerel.

Then there was a bit more waiting. Husband was getting a bit restive, so we entertained ourselves with Home Alone faces. I no longer have any clue why.

Then there was more (delicious) bread and many many moules marinieres. Interestingly, these were not super splendid. Husband and other table mates didn't like them at all. I'd have been happy to eat them (and probably did, in fact), but agreed that they were a little underwhelming. 
I suspect that they were cooked in cheapy wine and think ours were a bit overcooked. Other tables seemed happier, so I wonder whether ours happened to come from the bottom of what must have been an enormous cooking pot.
There were lots of refills, but we didn't go for them.

We went out to buy some additional beers. There was a tasty wee palate cleansing pre dessert thingy. Nice. Fruity and also pickled gingery.

And then salt roasted pear in caramel sauce. Good caramel sauce, but undercooked pears. I'd probably have peeled it too.

Overall, I'm glad we went.
The first three dishes were outstanding - I'd have been happy to eat them in any restaurant -  and we had a nice time.
It all took too long though. I know this is to be expected at a supper club, but the seating in F Cooke isn't really cosy enough to be sitting in for three or four hours - husband was definitely flagging by the end. And the fact that the final dishes were a bit disappointing didn't help the situation very much.
I'd go back, I think (though I suspect husband might not), but I'd go with a group next time - I think it would probably work better for me as a large social event - certainly the big groups were all having a great time.